Okay, so I MAY not be the right person to give treadmill love tips given that the treadmill and I mainly avoid each other after a history of mutual resentment. But, since there are times when I really depend on the treadmill (although only out of desperation) I have come across a few tricks to make it a bit more bearable to be together. Kind of. I mean maybe these tips will work better for you than me…(look I’m committed at this point so just go with it).
My runs have all been really great this week until Thursday, when I woke up at 5am to the sound of a river flowing down my driveway. Upon closer examination, I could see it was raining to a point that I would be soaked after less than a minute, and I wanted to get in 6 miles. I made the decision to go out anyway, got dressed, looked outside again, got undressed, got dressed, grabbed my gym card, got in the car. Sigh. Last minute treadmill date. Sloppy seconds really suck sometimes. Which brings me to my first tip:
Tip # 1: Accept the treadmill for being a treadmill. Don’t do what I did and be indecisive and angry about it, longing for the cool air and hills. Decide you’ll do it, and know that it will not be like your outdoor run, it will be a treadmill run, and own it as a different kind of workout, with different challenges as well as benefits. You can’t expect to feel the way you do outside. You can expect to feel like you’re running on a treadmill. And you can say out loud that that is a-okay for today!
Tip # 2: Have a plan of how you’d like to spend your time together. Have a good idea about what you’re going to do with your time on the treadmill. You should know how long you plan to stay on (or how many miles you want to run), and what you will specifically aim for in the run (pace, incline, and interval-wise) Or maybe it’s a tempo, or an easy run or whatever. Just get on knowing what to expect. I used to be the queen of getting on a treadmill with no plan, hoping for…not even really sure. Maybe that the treadmill would read my mind. That is the best way to go nuts and feel like minutes are hours. Have a plan!
Tip # 3: But if it’s not working do something else. If you planned to do speed intervals but 15 minutes in you feel like diving off headfirst, punching the loud sweaty person next to you (or the treadmill itself, bad idea), give yourself permission to switch it up. You will get a good workout anyway and avoid PTSS (post-treadmill stress syndrome).
Tip # 4: Listen to something, ANYTHING, but preferably something really interesting. Music on the treadmill isn’t enough for me, and I get dizzy/nauseous trying to watch or read anything. Enter podcasts. I have found that if I listen to a podcast that really engages me in thought it is distracting enough to keep me sane(r) over anything else. Whatever you do, don’t look at the numbers on the treadmill the whole time. It wants you to do that but it’s an evil trap. Stick to the podcasts and you might learn something cool.
Tip # 5: Take a moment to appreciate what the treadmill has to offer. If it’s bad weather that brought you inside, think about how miserable you’d be running in blistering cold, pouring rain, blazing heat, etc. Not such a bad thing after all to have the option to run as far as you want in controlled conditions with nearby food, drink, and bathroom facilities. Boring and reliable at its finest.
Tip # 6: When all else fails, you can agree to disagree with the treadmill and that’s okay. So maybe you’re a person who will never enjoy being on the treadmill. Maybe all the tricks in the world don’t stop the dread, the boredom, and the pain. Your heart just isn’t in it. If that’s the case, don’t force it. Maybe it’s a day to mix it up and do a spin class or other group class, strength workout or even a rest day. Or just a shorter, easier run than planned. Doesn’t mean you failed, you just acknowledged it’s not working right now with the treadmill. Time to move on (for today at least!)
Now it’s your turn. I know you treadmill lovers are out there and I want your secrets, tips, tricks – gimme all the treadmill dirt you got and don’t hold back! Need to save it all for the next rainy day 🙂